Wednesday, June 6, 2018

God's Own Self

As St. Paul says to the Romans: “Where sin has increased, grace has abounded all the more.” How do we know the love of God? Because he loved us first, while we were yet sinners. God never lets our failures in trusting him prevent the accomplishment of his loving plans on our behalf. God never fails us. Through all their foibles and failures God brought our Jewish forbears to the Promised Land. Jesus closest friends and disciples failed him and fled, but he was raised and came back to them loving them anyway. God’s dreams for us never suffer defeats. They just become roundabout and circuitous in their fulfillment. We may take many wrong terms in our life journey, but God somehow transforms them into avenues of encounter with him. Avenues all with the same name - Mercy. In other words, God never allows us to be satisfied with anything less than himself.
And this is at the heart of the Eucharistic mystery we celebrate in a special way on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi - God’s own self, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross effected a permanent change in our relationship with God. We can now trust God with Jesus’ own trust. In giving us himself, Jesus gives us his own fidelity to God his Father. Our participation in Jesus’ sacrifice brings each of us into real communion with God. Real presence brings about real communion. And real presence involves real responsibility. We celebrate today our real participation in the mission that Jesus inaugurated when he said, “Take, eat, this is my body. Take, drink, this is my blood.”
When we take and eat and drink we are proclaiming loud and clear “All that the Lord has said, we will heed and do.” We will be his presence to and for one another. Loved by God in spite of our sins and infidelities, we commit ourselves to love others - all others - as we have been loved. With Christ as our body and with his blood coursing through our veins, we go forth to continue his saving and transforming work. 

Photographs by Brother Brian. Excerpts from Abbot Damian's Homily for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.